Status is very important in Victorian society. It indicates an individuals wealth and connections, probable parentage and profession.
It certainly determines his or her access to society, how others will view and regard them and governs many interactions.
It is easily lost and harder to gain. The higher ones status the more difficult it is to meet the requirements of the lifestyle and the easier it is to lose the respect of ones peers.
Status is often about appearances and word quickly spreads if appearances are not kept up. The local lord who does not maintain his stables or go grouse shooting, the lawyer who does not attend church, the unmarried schoolmistress (governess) who attends the local public house – these people will all quickly lose status.